In a more modernized Army where overall safety of Soldiers is typically at the top of any unit commander's priority list, there is always a perpetual need to enforce Army-wide standards while continually ensuring the safety of the force. While certain allowances are made, in AR 670-1, for the wear of different pieces of jewelry, these are also accompanied by several stipulations that are directly subject to a unit commander's approval. Where safety and health issues many linger, during a plethora of possible unit training events, it is well within a unit commander's right to completely prohibit the wear of any jewelry if he or she believes that its wear may jeopardize that health and safety of his Soldiers.
Know What Constitutes Jewelry
In AR 670-1, the United States' Army makes mention of several different items that it considers to be jewelry. Besides the traditional expected wristwatches, rings, and earrings, for simplicity sake, items such as pens and pencils and watch chains have been grouped accordingly and addressed, as well. In handling this assortment of items, all can be worn, while only some can be openly displayed.
The following are items that can be openly displayed on a Soldier's body:
- a Wristwatch
- a Wrist Identification Bracelet
- a Total of Two Rings
- a Set of Earrings (for females)
- Religious Items (in accordance with Par 1-7b in AR 670-1)
The following are items that must not be openly exposed on a Soldier's body:
- Watch Chains
- Any Form of Jewelry that Deviates from the Above Listing
The following are items that are not authorized for wear, period:
- Ankle Bracelets
- Trendy Devices
- Personal Talismans or Icons
- Body Jewelry Piercings, of Any Sort, Except Earrings (for females)
As expected, it was difficult for the United States' Army to formulate concrete standards, regarding the wear of jewelry and other items, simply because of the great variations of uniforms and Soldier mission requirements. For example, AR 670-1 does make exception of the exposure of pens and pencils for those servicemembers who fill a medical, food service, or flight capacity. It is important that a Soldier consult AR 670-1 with regards to any possible exceptions.
Understand Body Piercing
In an Army that continually strives to uphold conservative standards and values, while reinforcing professionalism and uniformity, any type of body piercing is expressely prohibited. The only exception is the wear of earrings by females, and even this standard has its own additional clarifications, specifications, and restrictions.
Any sort of body piercing, other than the earring standards for females, is expressely prohibited while:
- In Duty Uniform, On-Post
- In Civilian Uniform, On-Post
- In Civilian Uniform, Off-Post
Generally speaking, a Soldier should not be off-post while in a duty uniform.
Female Soldiers are authorized to wear earrings, in accordance with the following standards. If these standards are not met, a female soldier cannot wear earrings.
- Type: May Be Screw-On, Clip-On, or Post-Type Earrings
- Color: May Be Gold, Silver, White Pearl, or Diamond
- Size: May Not Exceed 6 mm or 1/4 inch in Diameter
- Shape: Must Be Unadorned and Spherical
- Wear: Only as a Matched Pair, with Only One Earring Per Lobe, while Fitting Snuggly Against the Soldiers' Ears
No exception is made, in AR 670-1, for male Soldiers to wear earrings in any uniform while serving in any capacity within Army jurisdiction. Females are not authorized to wear earrings with any Class-C uniform like the ACU (or BDU), physical fitness, hospital duty, or food service uniforms.
If In Doubt, Seek Leadership
While AR 670-1 is very thorough and precise in the standards it conveys, if any Soldier questions remain unanswered, leadership can and should be sought to clarify any outstanding concerns. Non-commissioned officers have been specifically trained to be able to address Soldier questions and concerns as the pertain to Army-wide standards and regulations.
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